It's Take Two For Vendor Enkoo

The result is a refreshed product set that simplifies deployment and licensing for VARs catering to the SMB market, said Ajit Deora, president of the Fremont, Calif.-based company, whose technology provides remote users with secure Web-based access to e-mail, applications and files.

Having signed more than 200 U.S. channel partners since its launch in March 2004, enKoo is adding 50-plus new ones per month, Deora said.

Now the company this week is launching Remote Desktop and Remote Server access solutions, which simplify remote access by offering a clearer distinction between client and server tools, he said. EnKoo's modular approach provides the flexibility to add functionality on top of its three hardware platforms. But it also created confusion at times since previous enKoo modules featured overlapping client and server tools, Deora said.

"What we had before was sort of a mishmash of the desktop solution and pieces of the server solution," he said. "Early on, we wanted to give as much functionality as possible, but we found that on occasion, both customers and channel partners were having some problems figuring it out."

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But that's all changed now, he said.

Designed for customers with five to 1,000 users, the new Remote Desktop solution has been freed of extraneous server tools and focuses primarily on enabling administrators to securely access Windows-based PCs using enKoo's Beam technology. The desktop solution incorporates standard 128-bit SSL encryption and can be coupled with the server solution in larger network environments.

Likewise, enKoo's server tools have now been concentrated in the Remote Server solution. Remote Server enables file sharing, support for Web-based applications, client/server e-mail, POP3, IMAP clients and Microsoft Outlook Exchange 2003. Additional modules can be added to the enKoo platform to enable secure terminal services and support for Citrix connections.

Segmenting the server tools from the client solution not only facilitates the delivery of enKoo's remote access technology, but now better positions the server products as upsell candidates, said Morris Stemp, president of Stemp Systems Group, an enKoo partner in Long Island City, N.Y.

Hillel Sackstein, president of Virtual Graffiti, an enKoo partner in Irvine, Calif., agreed that past versions of the enKoo platform were a bit too heavy on mixed functionality.

"Before, [enKoo] kind of included all the functionality they had," Sackstein said. "They included Beam, they included Web-based application support, remote access to e-mail with the Exchange client. They had great ways of using the technology, but sometimes we were unsure as how best to license all of it."

Inversely, the lack of certain functionality also created licensing issues for resellers, said Brian Schumacher, president of Network Services Northwest, an enKoo partner in Poulsbo, Wash. For example, to connect earlier versions of Beam to PCs running Windows XP, a terminal services module was required. "People needing just PC access would ask us, 'But hey, isn't that for servers?' They'd be wondering why they had to pay for it," Schumacher said.

The arrival of Remote Desktop and Remote Server improves what has already been a very successful secure access offering from enKoo, Schumacher said. Attaching enKoo technology to firewall sales has been a winning formula for Network Services Northwest, and Schumacher said enKoo will have staying power because "it's at the low end of the price point and the high end of the feature set."

Both solutions are backwards-compatible to the enKoo appliance platforms and cost $995 each.